Hi Linda, After a long learning curve I have finally come up with a
system that works for me.
First off, I use Argentium silver which is very helpful for its
fusing properties. Here is my technique…
18g silver for the cuff26g silver for the flowers/animals/what
ever… After forming all my pieces I to “tin” the back of the
pieces with Med solder I then flux everything again, heat the fluxed
pcs just enough to get rid of white flux (I dont want the pcs to
float when the flux settles down) place the pcs on the cuff (which is
located on a screen between 2 upended soldering bricks (so it is
high) I then heat the bottom of the cuff until the flux turns
clear/brownish and I can see the metal is heating upI then quickly
go to the top and focus on and area. this part goes fairly quick. I
heat it to the point of just before fusing (sometimes it does fuse.
(this really comes with experience as it will go “to far” in an
instant.)I then move on to the next closest area and do the same.
I have a soldering pic in hand and if a pc is raised up, gently
press down while heating (another very tricky area, as argentium
will break if you do not do this at the absolute right time.when It
is done and cooled, I check all joins.
if there is a partial flower sticking up I will take a small wooden
dowel (cut small pcs from a long one from Lowes) and with a chasing
hammer,gently hammer the piece down to the cuff.
trying not to mess up the shape of the flower. I then heat the whole
thing again from the bottom and quickly focus on the top that I am re
doing. I may have added another bit of easy solder or just heated to
the point of fusing.After cleaning the piece I then shape the cuff on
the mandrel, trying to avoid my flowers. At times something else will
pop up (leaf, petal etc) at this point I finish the forming and go
back to my wooden dowel technique to press down the leaf. I then use
Super easy solder to attach the piece without having to heat the
whole cuff again… And thats basically it!
It may not be a traditional technique but it works for me. hope
something in here will help you too!